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Newbie question on GL1500 rear brakes

1179 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  John J
Hi there,
Not had my 1997 1500 SE too long but I've noticed the rear brake pedal has quite a long travel so I want to check the rear pads for wear. Is there an easy way to do this or do I have to remove the left hand saddle bag just to be able to see the pads?
If it turns out that I do need to replace the pads is there a tutorial anywhere that anyone can recommend please? This site has an excellent feature on how to change the front pads but I can't seem to find one that deals with the harder-to-get-at rear ones.
Thanks in anticipation.
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The pads are easy to get to with the saddlebag removed. This rear wheel removal article shows how to remove the saddlebags:

You will only need the left one out of your way.
You can visually inspect the rear brake pads...just get down on all fours and look between the left bag and the rear wheel. Brake pad wear shouldn't effect travel on the rear pedal. It's more likely you need to bleed the pedal system. Start at the left front caliper and that'll usually be enough. If not continue on to the rear.
With disc brakes and even drum brakes with properly operating adjusters pedal travel is not affected by pad/shoe wear.

That said, with disc brakes the fluid level in the reservoir will go down as the pads wear but pedal travel will not change until the reservoir is empty and air gets in the lines.

By all means check your brake pads but new ones will not decrees your pedal travel.
Time to change the fluid in all the brakes and clutch, inspect all the lines for bulging, might consider replacement of lines (not a easy thing to do)
But replace fluid and bleed everything, "Speed bleeders" help to make it easy.
If your new to the bike, lots of other things that need to be checked as well.
Welcome to the forum. When I brought my 1500, a couple of years ago, my rear brake felt weak and had too much travel. Changing the pads will probably not make a difference but it would be best to inspect them for wear. I changed the fluid and the pedal felt much better and the bike pulled up as it should.
Taking the bags off is much easier than you think. The tutorials on this site are great and when you have done it once you will find it takes no time at all the second time round.
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